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Thursday, March 20, 2008

On the market: Flying Saucer House

Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Space House? The Associated Press reports that Pearl Johnson of Cincinnati bought the mountainside house for a bargain $135,000 last weekend at auction. The price was disappointing for a landmark home, which sits atop six cement pillars and has a retractable staircase. Then again, it was built without architectural plans. Every wall is curved. It also has (winter) views of the Tennessee River and is on Signal Mountain.

Terry Posey, who auctioned off the 30-year-old home, writes on his website that if you Google Earth the address of the home it's labeled a "flying saucer." Of course, that and 50 cents will get you a cup of Tang (or would, if Tang were still the drink of Astronauts.) Anyone can label anything on Google Earth. Still, the house has a unique history. In the 1970s, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the couple who lived in it got in a fight and the wife trapped the husband inside by parking her pickup under the retractable stairs. Writes Posey on his auction site:

This is an opportunity to own a unique property and is ideal for that weekend get away. It has app. 2,000 square feet [ed: 1,940 according to the video tour] of living space. Home has 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, kitchen, living room and large bar area. There is a poster of an alien at the bar that reads "I AM ONLY HERE FOR THE BEER".
This strikes us as the deal of the century. UFO-shaped houses were fads in the 1960s and 1970s—see the Futuro houses, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen—as the space race heated up. The Tennessean reports that this one was built around the time Star Trek went off the air.

Here's a really cool video tour of the home.

[Photo credit Terry Posey]

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